Having enjoyed a fan frenzy to rival a Taylor Swift tour, the Australian women's soccer team is ready to live up to the hype and grab a first Olympic medal for the nation at the 2024 Paris Games, according to forward Michelle Heyman.

The 35-year-old will be suiting up for her second Olympics and times changed since she enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals at the 2016 Rio Games.

Eight years ago the "Matildas" toiled in obscurity between major tournaments, battling for sponsors and media coverage, with fans struggling to name any player apart from captain Sam Kerr.

But after hosting last year's World Cup and going all the way to the semifinals, they head to Paris after a run of 14 sold-out matches in the hulking stadiums of their home nation.

Heyman missed the World Cup after spending years in the international wilderness but plunged head-first into Matildas-mania with her recall to the squad in February.

"It's wild," she told Reuters. "Off the field, it's just completely chaos, like it is wild to know how big the Matildas name is. It's like being Taylor-bloody-Swift to know that you can't walk down the streets now that everyone knows who the Matildas are in Australia."

Last month, a crowd of 76,798 watched them beat China 2-0 in a friendly at Sydney's Stadium Australia, a record attendance for a women's soccer match in the country.

Their first Olympic group match against Germany at the 67,000-seater Marseille Stadium will offer some relief from the intense home support.

They can, nonetheless, count on droves of Australians staying up on cold winter nights at home to watch their games.

Expectations are high, even if at No. 12 in the world the Matildas are one of the lowest-ranked sides in Paris and have been drawn into one of the tougher groups.

Apart from Rio gold medallists Germany, the Matildas face four-time Olympic champions the U.S. and Zambia in Group B.

Extra push

Australia made their maiden Olympic semifinals in Tokyo three years ago but lost to Sweden and were beaten for the bronze by the U.S.

The Australian men's team failed to qualify for Paris, so the Tony Gustavsson-coached Matildas will carry the country's hopes of a first soccer medal alone.

The players are embracing that burden, says Heyman.

"Every team qualified for the Olympics is a top contender, so that includes ourselves," she said. "Knowing that we have Australia cheering us on, that gives us an extra push to do this for our country."

They will have to do it without their talisman Kerr, who suffered an ACL injury at club side Chelsea.

Defender Steph Catley will lead the squad and Heyman will hope to be the focal point of the attack.

Heyman retired from international football in 2019 after missing the World Cup squad that year but Kerr's injury opened the door for her "second life" as a Matilda.

She scored five goals in two Olympic qualifiers against Uzbekistan in February and found the net again recently facing China.

Heyman feels she is a wiser, more rounded player than the one who struggled with nagging injuries and quit in frustration five years ago.

As more of an "old-school number nine", she offers a different threat than Kerr and is a familiar face in a squad boasting plenty of Olympians.

"The lucky thing with myself is that I've played with them for a numerous amount of years, so they kind of remember how I used to play," she said. "So it's easy for me to just slip back in."